Hi everyone, my name is Meredith and I am a ‘fumie and a foodie. Most of you will have seen me comment here on the Posse as FragrantWitch but, despite jumping at the chance to do some writing, I am finding it daunting being up here at the top of the page. I’ll happily write a lengthy comment for you all to read but to start the conversation… yikes! After all, ‘revealing’ myself feels sort of like a superhero unmasking: FragrantWitch- scourge of the evil (smelling) everywhere (Specialist Weapon: Scent Bombs) becomes Meredith- suburban housewife (Specialist Skill: Can make emergency dinners out of 5 ingredients). Anyway, I am an American married to an Englishman, living in the UK. We have 2 gorgeous daughters, aged 3 and 5, and they keep me very busy! They both love to smell perfumes with me and are exceedingly happy if I let them loose in the toiletries department at John Lewis where they can sniff everything from body wash to fine fragrance. I am so delighted by this because I did the same thing when I was young- sitting with my mom’s perfumes spread out in front of me, happily huffing away and lingering for ages in the shampoo aisle, sniffing bottles to determine which I wanted. I expect my mom’s perfume collection was a direct result of her doing the same with my grandmother’s fragrances, so at least my girls come by it honestly!
My mom and grandmother also taught me to cook and bake and I grew up in a house smelling of fresh cookies and pot roast simmering in the Crock-Pot. Smells were everywhere around me as a child, inside and outside, and I revelled in them. New England has such fabulously evocative smells and I find myself seeking to replicate them here in England as I want my daughters to share in some of my olfactory memories even as they are creating their own. I try to do that through cooking with them, which they both adore, and in finding scents that either evoke the actual place or feeling of a treasured memory so that I can share the stories. Along the way, both at home and travelling, I discover new and wonderful fragrances and recipes for us to share and create the stories that will go along with them. Hopefully, some combination of all of the above will provide me with inspiration for posts that you all will be interested in reading!
Today, I thought I would share a mini- review of a fragrance that made me feel like a ‘proper’ perfumista: Bulgari Black. I had read so much about it on the blogs that I was really keen to try it as it sounded right up my alley – and, boy, was I right. Bulgari Black is all of my bad-boy high school/college boyfriends rolled into one bottle of olfactory bliss. You have brooding leather-jacket motorcycle guy, thermal-shirted grunge mechanic guy, coffee-swilling pothead poet (I always wondered-did the Mary Jane and the coffee cancel each other out?) and All- American-looking secret drag-racer and streetfighter, who always, inexplicably, smelled like cookies. The notes of leather, rubber, smoke and vanilla seem to generate a love-it or hate-it response: a quick straw poll of girlfriends yielded a 5 to 2 result. The 5 haters said it smelled ‘like a dirty mechanic’ and ‘being in The Lawyer’s car- leather and vanilla air freshener – bleurgh’. The 2 lovers said it smelled ‘oh yes…mmm…yes…sexy…wait, let me smell more!’ and like ‘a man who was trouble in the best possible way’ – we 3 have similar catalogues of roguish past men. Naturally, this led to a discussion of past men and their lingering ‘presences’ in our lives – yet another example of how much of us, our whole bodies and souls, responds to fragrance. My taste in men has, thankfully, changed but, man, am I glad I can still relive the fun and thrill of those bad boys whenever I spray my beloved Black.
The review got me to thinking about the power of a past relationship and how it can build your confidence or completely shatter it. For example, I had an ex who made me feel powerful, confident and sexy and he once gifted me a bottle of Paloma Picasso. Now, when I need a boost of confidence I spray Paloma Picasso and I can instantly see him smiling at me in satisfaction and appreciation. Everyone needs a scent like that, don’t they?
So, over to you…. What fragrances give you power or make you shrink into the shadows?